Ferrari fail in bid to have Carlos Sainz's Australian GP penalty overturned despite livid Spaniard's protests | The Sun

FERRARI have failed in their bid to have Carlos Sainz's penalty in the Australian GP overturned.

The Spanish driver was hit with a five-second penalty for clattering into countryman Fernando Alonso in a hectic end to the race in Melbourne.

Sainz was livid that the penalty was applied without speaking to him first and accused the FIA of making a huge mistake.

His Ferrari team had decided to seek a review of the incident, which ultimately dropped Sainz to 12th place and out of the points.

However, after considering Ferrari's appeal, which included testimonies from team boss Fred Vasseur and Sainz, the stewards deemed "there is no significant and relevant new element" that was not available at the time.

A statement added: "The Petition is therefore dismissed…We decided that Sainz was wholly to blame for the collision.

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"We considered the fact that this collision took place at the first corner on the first lap of the restart, when the Stewards would typically take a more lenient view of incidents.

"However, we decided that notwithstanding that it was the equivalent of a first lap incident, we considered that there was sufficient gap for Sainz to take steps to avoid the collision and failed to do so.

"We therefore imposed a five second time penalty."

Meanwhile, George Russell claims Lewis Hamilton's decision not to retire last year "saved him" from criticism.

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Hamilton decided to return in 2022 – despite the controversial end to the 2021 season when he was denied a record eighth world title by former Race Director Michael Masi's handling of the Abu Dhabi GP.

And Russell says that Hamilton remaining with the Silver Arrows helped "save" his own career from taking a tonking as Mercedes struggled for performance.

He said: "In a way, having him as a teammate saved me. If he had left Mercedes or the sport when I joined the team, I would have been blamed for the step backwards the team made.

"But I think that I've now proved what I'm worth and what I can do, so there's no pressure in that regard.

"I'm there to do my job as well as possible and I think I'm in a very good position.

"So I don't worry about statistics or whether I'm on Lewis' pace or whatever, because I feel like I've already proved that over the past year."

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